junior_ain's Crysis (Collector's Edition) (PC) review

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A great looking game, but also a great game.

Crysis has made quite a stir in the gaming world while it was being developed up until the day it was released, the graphics were like nothing that had ever preceded it. When we finally got the chance to play it we realized the hype had a reason to be that high, the graphics are beautiful. One thing is sure, it will take a while until a game comes to dethrone the almighty Crysis from the position of the most graphically advanced game on the market, along with its "brother" Crysis Warhead, released less than an year after and being a side-vision of the main story present in this game. Crysis stands victorious in any choice for exposure of how graphics have already advanced or how richly detailed they have gotten. But Crysis has much more to offer than a "pretty face", it actually is a first-person shooter to be remembered; with an over-the-top gameplay, an engaging story and incredible artificial intelligence; it ends up offering an overall single player experience that will leave you extremely satisfied.

One cannot talk about Crysis without acclaiming its graphical achievements, both technical and artistically. The world surrounding the game is extremely detailed, as I trust most people have already at least glimpsed in some video or picture; to have everything actually happening in-screen and at your full control is an astonishing experience indeed, of course if given the chance to play in a computer worthy of handling this extreme demanding game. The grass moves in harmonic movements based on wind breezes along with people walking over them, looking insanely real; the jungle has an endless number of trees with highly detailed leaves and branches each moving accordingly like it would be happening in a real-life recorded video, if you punch the bough the tree will fall just like it would in real-life if you had a futuristic super-suit for everyday use inside your closet that could increase you strength considerably. Some might say that video-games aren't supposed to look too much real, as they aren't real, but these graphics turn out being so immersive that it surely is interesting even if high-end graphics doesn't impress you at all; after all, even with graphics that imitates real life so faithfully, you still fight extraterrestrial creatures, takes dozens and dozens of shots, jump at incredible heights and all those stunts which you are sure to find in a video-game.

Yes, Crysis is a beautiful game, it can impress anyone with its advanced physics and technologies in lightning and depth techniques, which are unmatched for today's standards, many are Crysis' merits in the graphics department. I'm sure you have never seen a better looking water in any other game you've played. In the ocean you can see the waves moving realistically towards the shore, a nice sight especially if seen from far away. The background also received especial treatment and does not consist entirely of bland scenery filling the unreachable, it actually looks spectacular. Even some minor details can impress, like the design of the guns. It's impressive how advanced the physics have gotten in a game, if you see a house in the middle of the jungle, chances are that you can destroy it, or your enemies will eventually if you decide to take cover at it, the walls generally fall down and the whole shack collapses; practically every item you find in these places has a very realistic set of movements, there's not many of them actually because most of the time you'll be facing jungle, alien caverns or something like it.

The game will present you three main locations, the action will evolve through them, first you have the tropical island atmosphere, then you get to meet a cavern with strange alien machinery, after that you will be facing a post-apocalyptic snowy landscape. The story will flow naturally into each of these environments. Each has its own set of uniqueness about using the game's tremendous graphical power, the cave is maybe the most modest because it's when the atmosphere gets darker, but the details are still apparent and the lightning effects play a decisive role in setting it apart from the rest in its own way. The ice landscapes look beautiful for itself, snow-covered mountains all around while aliens try to send you to much-more-fresh hell. And of course, the type of landscape you'll be facing most of the time consist of jungles, forests, beaches, dirt roads and multiple enemy bases and camps.

The story is set in a near future, more precisely in the year 2020 in an island in North Korea, when a squad is sent by the government of the United States to investigate a distress signal sent by American archeologists who were digging the location and found themselves hostages of the North Korean army. When the Delta Force squad reaches the island you automatically take control of Nomad, one of the team members, suddenly grisly murders start happening with some of the squad members, the rest of the team is still unaware of the danger and decides to continue the mission. Your primary enemy in the first part of the game is the Korean military force, but soon you'll find out the danger goes beyond a mere human army and that the island holds much more secrets than it appears.

For you to face Koreans and Aliens a super-suit is at your disposal, named Nanosuit. This little toy is a welcome addition to any soldier in the position of Nomad, the advantages are several, it enhances your normal body power limits considerably. First your health, it will be recovered automatically while not taking damage. Also there's various other unique power boosting features, I say unique because only one of them can be used at a time. By a mere click on the mouse or a single stroke at your keyboard you can change between these functions and they all draw the assistance power of the Nanosuit, which is also recoverable. You have the Strength Mode which will give you much more strength than you normally have, allowing you to throw enemies at farther distances, perform a powerful punch capable of collapsing even trees and walls down and also gives you the ability to jump at a much higher distances. In Speed Mode you get the ability to run faster. In Cloak Mode you are able to perform one of the coolest moves available, you become temporarily invisible, and in a stealth game this will do wonders. And in Armor Mode you can adjust your Nanosuit to take damage instead of your your own health first, every time you receive damage your Nanosuit assistance power bar will be drained instead, when the bar reaches zero, then your regular health bar will decrease.

A game that emphasizes too much upon aesthetics is bound to have controls in the second-rate department right? Wrong, the controls in Crysis are tight and incredibly functional. Everything great about a first-person shooter in a PC can be found here, allowing players to perform actions with ease and accuracy. You can ride vehicles as well, every now and then you'll find trucks lying around ready to be ridden, later in the game you will also find tanks, motorboats and hovercrafts. Throughout the adventure you'll also have the chance to pilot a helicopter.For obvious reasons the graphics stand as the main star and protagonist of Crysis, even being a game that is never weak in any aspect, the sound design too marked a strong presence in Crysis, the effects were superbly done. Each sound of gunfire, grenade blasts, explosions, vehicle noises is amazingly implemented, even the voices of the Koreans that can also be heard in its original language with some brief sentences uttered here and there.

Another thing that's worth noticing is how this game can assume the facade that the player is willing for it to take, primarily this game is an all-out stealth game, stealth games tend to have a certain charm that separates them from the others, the atmosphere is always of non-stop suspense and the game easily sucks you in making your eyes stay glued to the screen the whole time; to help you with this you have the Cloak Mode, which will come in handy for many difficult situations, as well as being an awesome feature to be used in infiltrations without getting noticed. But if your kind of game isn't the slow-pace, strategically thought-out moves, you can also break your cover and go for a shoot-out against many enemies at once, the colossal maps will leave you several places to cover and use the environment to your favor; you can abuse the Shield Mode with this playing style, and the Speed Mode when things get really ugly. But you can also find a hybrid game style in between those two, sometimes use one style, sometimes use the other, and sometimes mix them both in a single mission. It's nice to go into multiple play-throughs and experience different approaches on the game's various challenges. Especially considering that practically all objectives contained have an alternate way to be completed, maybe multiple ways, so that only the player's imagination will be the limit in finding different routes and ways to act.

The multiplayer in a computer first-person shooter is a mandatory addition, and in Crysis it will manage to bring you fun after you're done with the single player experience, the basic features of a typical first-person multiplayer can be found along with the gigantic Crysis maps and Nanosuit features. The focus is obviously not multiplayer, and a separated game, similar to what Warhead is to the original, was released named Crysis Wars; in Crysis Wars multiplayer gets central attention and if you're looking for a more complete multiplayer experience, Crysis style, then you should look for Crysis Warhead to also get Crysis Wars, and with that, get the most out of Crysis' online multiplayer.

If you give Crysis a chance you'll soon find out that the game is much more than just beautiful graphics, it's also beautiful graphics coherently designed with incredible controls and a very interesting game system, supported by great Nanosuit features that bring a certain dynamism to the game and allows you to dictate the pace you want. A game that, if you have the necessary hardware power, will impress you with the most beautiful graphics of its time; but in the end it's not only a great looking game, but also a great game.

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